Sunday, 6 May 2012
A Sort of Interlude
In the time since I took these photos, around the time of my last post, a lot has happened. Green shoots and soft fresh leaves are all over Scotland now. But yesterday morning we boarded a plane to Canada and said goodbye to all of them.
Or rather, we said "so long", because it turns out we will only be away for a little while. When we go back to Aberdeen later this summer, it will be for another three years while my husband works away on his doctorate. We found out only last week that we would be staying on... before that it was looking almost sure that we were moving to Newfoundland, Canada where this is another department of folklore with a good doctoral programme.
Either place would have suited me, I think, and so would have Brittany, where we almost moved last September. In each place there were things I looked forward to. Icebergs and moose, people dwarfed by the immensity of nature; little old village churches with strange medieval carvings, markets and fest noz, speaking French; mushroom hunting in storybook forests in summer, the wind roaring around in winter making our old granite house feel like a boat lost at sea, friends and all the little haunts I've grown to love.
I am grateful that we will finally have a bit of a rest from always feeling that we are about to move someplace new, as we have for the past six years. It will be nice to feel as though we can settle in a little bit anyway. When we get back I will be able to buy wood and start work on the paintings I have been carrying inside me for too long.
And then there were the unexpected few days we spent in France for the funeral. Riding the train into Paris from the airport, we looked at each other and said it felt as though we hadn't left at all, another few weeks and our life in Scotland would seem like only a strange dream we had shared. It was odd to think that even after a year and a half away, the repetition of daily routines from our years in France somehow had left such a deep mark on us that they seemed more immediate and real than our current home only a few hours behind us. But even in sad circumstances, life seemed to sing a bit. The flowers were on the chestnut trees, and the sun showers and hailstones ran amok.
When we returned to Aberdeen, we searched for a new home by day and filled boxes with our things by night. I have a set of keys in my bag to a place that is waiting empty for us to fill with dreams and tunes and the quiet talk of evening time. Every day the sun is ticking away the hours across those empty walls and crooked floors, until we will be there to begin something new.
But just now in Canada, the days are warm and filled with bird song and seeds floating past on the breeze. The sun rushes down on us so enthusiastically that it is hard to open our eyes, for all the brightness. It has been so long since we were back here to visit where it hasn't been because of deathbeds and last visits, so it is pretty incredible to be able to look around and really see everything. At first glance it is all enormous and overflowing here. And of course, as I suppose it must always be, so much has changed, and then so much has not changed at all.